Every year there is much made about who will win the coveted Heisman Trophy. As is stated numerous times during the ceremony, the list of past winners is long and legendary, and while not all went on to have great NFL careers (or one at all), winning the award no doubt solidifies the recipient aong the titans of college football.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy had three very deserving candidates, a freshman, a field general and an inspiration that happens to play linebacker. All deserved to win, but only one took home the hardware and joined the list of legends.
The Heisman likes a good story as much as it likes stats and performance, and that was the case tonight as Johnny Manziel took home the award. Not only did Manziel put up insane numbers this year, breaking records and arriving on the scene with a bang, but he’s now made history. Never before had a freshman won the Heisman until tonight.
Manziel turned 20 years old two days ago, and is the first freshman to win the award. There will be much debate as to whether he earned it with stats or with popularity, but not a lot of people can doubt his status as a finalist. To contrast against evidence the haters possess, Colin Klein didn’t hit it big until this season, and Manti Te’o was still growing as a player and a person when he was a freshman.
There is still much growing for Manziel, but he’s made strides at an incredibly young age and while possibly controversial, the one time backup quarterback and YouTube sensation is now a Heisman winner and no one can take that away.